Candidates Clamor for States’ Rights, Some of the Time: View

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The concept of “states’

But there’s another historical thread, too: a progressive one that claims the states can be

In the past year or so, states’ rights have become

10th Amendment Aficionado

And then there is Rick Perry, governor of Texas and flavor of the moment among Republican presidential candidates. Perry is an aficionado of the 10th

The first thing to say about states’ rights is that states have no rights. (Nor, for that matter, does the federal government.) People have rights. Our

The second thing to say is that if you don’t care

The third thing to say is that all constitutional provisions are in there for a reason, and cannot be

In general, the courts have taken a pretty broad

We wonder if the governor of Texas appreciates what

States as Laboratories

By and large, the states have ignored Brandeis’s invitation to become “laboratories of democracy,”

Gay marriage is a counterexample. It seems to be spreading one state at a time, just as Brandeis, a far-left Democrat by today’s standards, might wish. It

Change of Heart

But since he wrote that, in 2010, he apparently has had a change of heart. Today, he supports the Defense

The lesson here is that there are no federalists in political foxholes. When an issue comes along that you

On the other hand, “Turn it over to the states” is

In fact, the evidence is quite the other way: If


To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg View’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net.